Proximal humerus fractures treated in the face of ipsilateral injuries to the shoulder girdle may be predisposed to worse clinical outcomes.
The purpose of this investigation was to examine outcomes of proximal humerus fractures treated with open reduction internal fixation (ORIF) using an endosteal augment in the presence of a concomitant shoulder girdle injury in comparison to isolated proximal humerus fractures treated with ORIF and endosteal augment.
A prospective database was used to identify proximal humerus fractures with ipsilateral shoulder girdle injuries (glenohumeral and acromioclavicular dislocation, fractures of the acromion, clavicle, scapula, or humeral diaphysis). These were compared to isolated proximal humerus fractures treated in the same fashion (ORIF with endosteal augment). Minimum of 1 year follow-up was required for inclusion. Outcomes assessed included range of motion (ROM), development of avascular necrosis (AVN), hardware-related complications, reoperation, and subjective outcome assessments including the Disabilities of Arm Shoulder and Hand questionnaire (DASH), Constant score, UCLA rating scale, and the Short Form-36 (SF-36).
Fifteen ipsilateral injuries were seen in 14 patients. Seventy-seven isolated proximal humerus fractures were available for comparison. The ipsilateral injury group had significantly worse forward flexion (141 vs 156°, p = 0.02), external rotation (56 vs 64°, p = 0.03), higher rates of avascular necrosis (4 of 14, 28.6% vs 1 of 77, 1.3%, p = 0.002), and inferior SF-36 physical health scores (48.5 vs 63.5; p = .04). Despite these differences, no significant differences were seen with hardware-related complications or DASH, Constant score, or UCLA rating scale results. No patients required secondary reconstructive procedures.
Despite a statistically higher rate of AVN and decreased ROM, patient-based outcomes of proximal humerus fractures with ipsilateral shoulder injuries approached those seen in isolated proximal humerus fractures. This suggests that these injuries can achieve similarly good clinical results provided any associated shoulder pathology is identified and treated appropriately.
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Conflict of Interest
Marschall B. Berkes, MD, Milton T.M. Little, MD, Nadine C. Pardee, BS, Patrick C. Schottel, MD, Lionel E. Lazaro, MD, and Dean G. Lorich, MD have declared that they have no conflict of interest.
All procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2008 (5).
Informed consent was waived from all patients for being included in the study.
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Level of Evidence: Level 3: Therapeutic.
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Berkes, M.B., Little, M.T.M., Pardee, N.C. et al. Outcomes of Proximal Humerus Fracture Open Reduction Internal Fixation with Concomitant Ipsilateral Shoulder Girdle Injuries: a Case Control Study. HSS Jrnl 12, 105–110 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11420-016-9498-4
- proximal humerus fracture
- avascular necrosis
- clavicle fracture
- acromion fracture
- acromioclavicular separation